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OKC Thunder: Kendrick Perkins could miss preseason following wrist surgery

KENDRICK PERKINS — The Thunder center underwent two procedures in the offseason. The Thunder hopes he'll be ready for the Nov. 1 opener, but brought in Hasheem Thabeet and former McGuinness star Daniel Orton as possible insurance.
By DARNELL MAYBERRY Published: September 26, 2012

Presti said Thunder coach Scott Brooks will determine which player ultimately is Perkins' backup. Aldrich, however, seems set to slide into the role vacated by Nazr Mohammed, now with Chicago The Thunder traded up to get Aldrich at the 11th overall spot in the 2010 draft, and in two years Aldrich has played in only 44 games.

But Presti praised all of the team's big men for the strides they've made this summer.

“I feel good about the guys that we have in camp,” Presti said. “Hasheem has done a very good job this summer. His conditioning has vastly improved. Cole's done a nice job. We know what we did last year in limited opportunities. So we'll evaluate that and Scott will make those decisions as we get through training camp.”

Orton's place on the team probably is the least secure. If he doesn't beat out Thabeet or recently signed swingman Hollis Thompson for the final roster spot, Orton likely will join the Thunder-owned Tulsa 66ers. Presti, though, talked Wednesday about what attracted the organization to Orton, who the team is believed to have had an eye on back during the 2010 draft.

“Daniel's a talented player,” Presti said. “He's had some things not go his way with the injury. But we like him. He's got a nice edge to him. He's got a high basketball IQ for a young guy. He knows what's going on on the floor, and he's done great work since he's been here. So we're excited to see him in camp.”